Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 James Kash
 Where We Live
 Behind The Scenes
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Meet The Staff
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

REFLECTIONS ON THE NYPD SHOOTING

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

When a loser snapped and used a .45 to kill a former employer he’d been accused of stalking, and then died in a shootout with NYPD officers in front of the Empire State Building, the media soon piled the BS almost as high as the iconic building before which the incident took place.  When it looked as if one man had shot nine or ten people, the mainstream media was ready with another anti-gun blitz…and with their embarrassment almost visible, backed off when it discovered the killer had shot a single victim, and the other victims had all sustained non-life-threatening wounds from fragments of police bullets.

There was knee-jerk Kool-Aid regurgitation, such as this op-ed in HuffPost:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sanjay-sanghoee/friendly-fire-why-nyc-sho_b_1830421.html. Gee, maybe unarmed English bobbies would have talked the murderer out of shooting them, huh?

The New York Times described the killer’s simple .45 auto as if it should be limited to nuclear arsenals. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/nyregion/gun-used-in-shooting-at-empire-state-building-is-known-for-its-deadly-power.html?_r=1&smid=pl-share

According to this CNN account, none of the bystanders sustained straight-in gunshot wounds from direct bullet strikes, but all instead were hit with shrapnel fragments from shattered projectiles: “Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the bystanders were not hit directly by police, but rather the officers’ struck ‘flowerpots and other objects around, so … their bullets fragmented and, in essence, that’s what caused the wounds.’” http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/24/justice/new-york-empire-state/index.html?hpt=hp_t1.

It was an incident so shocking that it startled obsessively anti-gun Mayor Michael Bloomberg into actually saying something logical about the issue, here: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/08/28/bloomberg-defends-nypd-officers-in-empire-state-building-shooting/. Hizzoner’s dialogue with a reporter went like this: “Let me ask you this, Miss, ‘Somebody pointed a gun at you, and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do?” said Bloomberg in response to a reporter’s question about the police officers’ actions. When the reporter didn’t respond, the mayor said, “I think that answers the question.” “The police commissioner’s looked at it. They acted more than appropriately,” Bloomberg added. “I’ve seen the film. The guy turned, pointed his gun at the two police officers – and you can really ask that question after that?”

Mayor Bloomberg, I hope you can cling to that light bulb that just turned on over your head. If a stalking victim such as the murdered Steven Ercolino COULD have gotten a license to carry a gun to protect himself from the stalker in your city…if he had been able to draw a gun from his pocket when the killer started to pull out his .45 … perhaps the casualty list would have been limited to one thwarted murderer.

What of the cops who unleashed the bullets that injured bystanders? Being out of space here, I’ll address that next time.

38 Responses to “REFLECTIONS ON THE NYPD SHOOTING”

  1. John M. Maraldo Says:

    http://www.balloongoesup.com/blog/2012/08/the-shooting-at-the-empire-state-building/

  2. 5minutes Says:

    The only light bulb that will ever be associated with Michael Bloomberg is the shape of his head… and that’s a seriously dim bulb.

  3. Tim from CO Says:

    The NY Times piece was priceless. Indeed they made the 1911 sound extra scary.

    “The .45-caliber semiautomatic was the standard sidearm for the American armed forces for much of the 20th century. The semiautomatic feature means that the gun reloads automatically after the trigger is pulled and a round is fired; it fires larger rounds than most handguns, making it difficult to handle, but powerful. ”

    They forgot to mention the 1911 was replaced by the Beretta…hehe “reloads automatically” once again trying to make handguns sound extra scary. I should have my wife write to the NY Times and tell them how she enjoys shooting 1911s.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the anti-gun crowd still uses this for gun-control… “See even Police SHOULDN’T have guns!”

  4. Nolan B Says:

    Even still, it amazes me how people are still stuck on stupid. A couple of comments from the last article:

    “Why are the cops’ safety so important, but bystanders safety is collateral damage?”

    “…the officer on the right was holding the gun in his outstretched right hand while running away. That is not the way people are trained to fire a gun.”

    “arent the cops supposed to go through training before you let them out on the streets?? Mabe teach them to hit the target in one … possibly 2 shots”

    It’s an unfortunate truth that there will always be people that know more than the professionals, ready to come to to the aid in hindsight of all who put their lives on the line, while resting comfortably in their armchair thrones while sipping a beer.

  5. Andy Says:

    “If a stalking victim such as the murdered Steven Ercolino COULD have gotten a license to carry a gun to protect himself from the stalker in your city…”

    That is the best, most relevant, and piercingly truthful statement to be made in all of this. It hits at not only the root of the problem, but the real solution to it.

    Therefore, Scumberg will probably outright ignore anything said to that effect. That’s just my $.02- and I’d love to be wrong- based on the present (delusion-based) reality in NYC.

  6. Kevin Says:

    CNN is, as usual, full of crap. Three were directly shot by police bullets, 6 were hit by some sort of fragments. Managing to shoot 3 bystanders at 8 feet certainly is a commentary on the training standards of the NYPD, which Bloomberg and Kelly are responsible for.

  7. ralph Says:

    Some good points Mas.

    Question, what is the motivation for professional burocrats such as Mayor B to oppose people taking care of their own safety? I can’t for the life of me imagine what could be behind this stance. Seems to me were I mayor of an enormous city like NY I’d want folks to be able to defend themselves until the police can arrive. It can’t be easy for cops to cover such a vast area quickly. Anything less than full support for self defense leaves blood on the hands of the mayor when cops just can’t get there in time.

    Fwiw – I live in rural Arizona. The neighbors and I all know that the best case scenario for a self defense situation for law enforcement to arrive is measured in 1/4 hour incraments. You had better be able to handle things on your own. Seems to me it might be the same in a huge city.

  8. Doc Martin Says:

    The HuffPo blogger is correct in that there will be no friendly fire if the friendlies don’t have guns.

    ‘course then we got bigger problems…

  9. David P Says:

    Ignorance. More distructive than any firearm.

  10. Jack Says:

    Typical NYC liberal idiocy. Typical Media ignorance. Are any of us surprised?

  11. Craig R. Brownell Says:

    I remember claims of the .45 Auto being inaccurate ‘way back in 1968 when I started in the industry.

    I’d take the rental ‘range gun’ (loose as a goose from excessive use and almost never cleaned) and hand it to the claimant. They would hit the paper about three out of eight shots at 50′. “SEE?”

    I put eight rounds through a teacup-sized hole in the center of a target, one-handed, offhand. “Let’s work on your technique.”

  12. Mr Fitz. Says:

    Mayor Bloomberg,

    You should be ashamed of yourself for not letting the good people of New York city protect themselves. I have never visited your city and after watching the performance of your officers I would not feel safe in your city.

    It is a real shame what had to happen, after all these people lost there lives and innocent people where hurt as well.

    To the officers that shot this man, for the love of g
    God man get some real training please.

  13. Alaska_Rod Says:

    What “My Question is” ..What are you supposed to do IF it’s the New York Cops that are shooting your family members while trying to Hit the Bad-Guy?? 9 People shot by cops at close-range ! I’m sorry, this is FAR from being acceptable !

  14. Kasinefect Says:

    The Mayor understands reality just fine; after all if he did not he would not have that big ARMED security detail. it is amazing though that he slipped up the way he did.

  15. Bulldog Chuck Says:

    I realize the police were under extreme stress from having a gun (any caliber) pointed at them. However, training and practice should have kicked in, and at least one of them should have taken a second to aim his firearm.
    Shooting into innocent bystanders, hitting flower pots, and who knows what else? Disgraceful.
    Any reward for the construction guy that followed the bad guy and pointed him out to police? He took as much of a chance as the police, and was unarmed, right?

  16. NY Outdoors Says:

    But 16 shots were fired by police at a bad guy less than 15 feet away?
    It proves once again that the police spray and pray, Maybe THEY should have limits on their magazine capacity. How could the commissioner a former Marine condone their marksmanship?
    It sad to think that in a city with supposedly the best police dept. the lack of qualifying on a yearly basis took its toll on innocent civilians.

  17. Racer Says:

    How stupid does one have to be to make the pertinent point which one also rails against, and doesn’t even know he hit the nail on the head???? Did you know “idiot”, “imbecile”, and “moron” weren’t always just insults hurled between people of differing political ideology? They were all were used as clinical terminology at one point in psychology/psychiatry history to describe levels of mental impairment? Wonder if Mayor Doomblurb knows that historical tidbit. Oxygen thief! Stupidity is it’s own reward.

  18. Ken O Says:

    Mas, “this is ‘murica and the .45acp is the most powerful tool in the arsenal short of a tactical nuke” or so the thinking goes. As much as we gun owners have contributed to the mythos of the .45, can we blame the ignorant media for buying into it? Now before the haters start calling me a 9mm fanboy, my carry piece is a full size 1911 in .45acp.

    Any truth to the rumor circulating that the shooter was using a Star pistol?

  19. Lorenzo Says:

    The HuffPost article is especially telling. That they find the link between guns and freedom “dangerous” is even more telling. Yet they make it sound like it’s okay that innocents were hurt because it was the police that shot them?

    The gunman fired ONE ROUND THAT HIT HIS INTENDED VICTIM. The cops did what they were trained to do. They put rounds on him until he stopped. All this technical talk about bullet fragmentation is never brought up when it’s the civilian that caused nine people to be hurt. If that were to happen they would be reporting it as “a mass shooting”.

    That dim bulb of a NYC Mayor actually had a moment of bright clarity in his exchange with the reporter. It won’t last of course, and if he were questioned on it at a later date he would claim being taken out of context.

    Mas, thanks for everything at the Wallingford, CT. class.

  20. Fred Squillante Says:

    I don’t know if this is a case of the Keystone Kops or The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. but what I heard was neither cop had ever fired their guns on duty, and that one shot 9 times and the other 8. It sounds like they never trained too. I used to live in the NYC area and I can’t imagine they couldn’t tail this guy and call for back up instead of getting themselves in a position where they wound up in a shoot out in a very populous area. All the more reason to allow responsible people to carry.

  21. Rich Says:

    Headline
    Gunman kills boss, Police do Magazine Dump, Wound 9.

  22. Tim from CO Says:

    @Ralph- It was hard for me to understand why some people are so strongly anti-gun, especially political figures. But then I read something and it made a lot of sense.

    The more “helpless” you are, the more government you need to “protect” you. That’s the best explanation I’ve seen so far.

    If you can take care of yourself, you don’t need a lot of help or a lot of government. I’d throw in a little resentment too. Some politicians can’t do anything themselves (IE protect themselves) and so they hate those who can.

    While it’s easy to bash the accuracy of the Officers involved. We don’t know all the details. If anyone has done a larger Airsoft or Paintball game, how many times have you had teammates run in your line of fire? Or yourself been hit by a teammate? It happens, especially when there’s a lot of people involved.

  23. Mark Laderwarg Says:

    The NY Trigger didn’t help their hit ratio.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/08/foghorn/nypds-choice-of-firearm-may-have-contributed-to-the-terrible-shooting/

  24. AaronW Says:

    Mas,

    Is it fair to say that the relative lack of NYPD training plus that dreadful 12 pound trigger pull was part of the problem?

    Also, a pox upon the NYTIMES for their BS about the .45 ACP.
    I recall a podcast interview you had with an Illinois officer whose department, upon switching to a better “man stopper” (to .357 I believe) actually killed fewer suspects because fewer hits were needed before they stopped resisting.

  25. Pete Sheppard Says:

    When I watched the video, it looked as if one officer at least tried to do it right; a two-hand hold and solid stance, though he was only a few feet away.
    The other MOS appeared to be moving away, blasting one-handed.
    Sad thing is, I recently talked to a sheriff’s deputy who trains constantly, and said the ‘mover’ was doing it right, moving and shooting to avoid getting shot!

  26. Chris - VA Says:

    The cops and the city of New York are responsible for all the shots fired.
    Same as if any of us had fired them.

    Glad I left NY.
    In VA I can defend myself.

  27. Jack Says:

    How many of us think that the late Jim Cirillo is spinning in his grave? His old department hits that many bystanders. Disgusting. But then again, are we really surprised? Too many don’t train enough.

  28. Jack Says:

    I am not surprised in the least that the so called media think the old .45ACP is too much to handle. I shot a Kimber Custom II a few years ago. The Recoil, to me anyway, was no worse than a .38Special.

  29. Tommy Sewall Says:

    Tim from CO is correct as is Chris. Its hard to be in the officer’s shoes but anyone firing a gun is responsible for their rounds. I can’t help but think more marksmanship training would have helped. However a lot of us who shoot double action revolvers with heavy trigger pulls can get a center mass hit with one or two shots.

    Bloomberg is impossible to figure out. The man must be one hell of an egomaniac (with absolutely no reason to be). Each time I buy a 44 or 64 ounce drink I write a comment about him on the cup. (I drink diet soda so I’m not encouraging gluttony, I’m just cheap.) We’ve got to lock up the evil baby formula too. I’ll stay in Texas and hope Bloomberg stays in NYC.

  30. BillM Says:

    As a former Deputy Sheriff, I was taught that I would have to account for every shot I fired in the line of duty.

    I was taught not to fire if the background endangered civilians.

    I was thaght that if the background behind me endangered civilians to move to cover where the agressor’s fire would not endanger them, even if I had to leave corer to do so.

    I was taught that if I was engaged in a crowded location at point blank range to either disarm my attacker or to go down on my back and fire up into him to avoid collateral damage to civilians.

    We carried S&W 686’s so I did not have a lot of ammo to spray and pray with .

    I was lucky in that I never had to shoot anyone but I disarmed several assalents when they attempted to shoot me. If I was right on top of them and they had a weapon, i wanted their weapon not my own weapon. No body is a winner in a point blank shootout!

  31. Randy Says:

    It always pains me when our gunlaws are compared to England, as Mr. Sanjay Sanghoee purports to do and how safe England is.
    For many of us, our forebears came here because they wanted a better life and would not knuckle under to the ruling wealthy elite class. For many of them it was a long dangerous journey. I think that there was something special in those people. Maybe something in their genes that would not allow them to knuckle under; an attitude which carried over to the U.S.
    On the other hand, look at the English that still are enthralled by royalty and feel subservient to the titled class. After 2 wars, I am sure that there are many firearms still lying around, hidden away for future use. The English people simply have a different way of looking at things. Hence, their gunlaws are not really necessary. However, their younger generation isn’t so subservient and things are changing.
    As for Mr. Johnson getting a handgun in FL legally; I wish someone would tell me how he did it. Unless he is a licensed dealer with an FFL, he could not legally purchase a handgun across state lines. Perhaps he was residing in FL when he purchased it?

  32. Fldave Says:

    Wow. My suggestion would be for all these Internet hero’s who feel NYPD was not up to the challenge would be to take their credentials to the department and offer to provide the training you feel they need. A gun fight is a dynamic situation where these officers did their job with no civilian deaths cause by their firearms. To be thrust in that position and only injure bystanders with fragments speaks highly of their skill.

    It is comments like those posted stating how “unacceptable” it is which demonstrates the ignorance of the public on what goes on in both daily law enforcement and deadly force situations. It is only a matter of time where the public gets both the law enforcement and the government it deserves.

  33. Noah Vaile Says:

    I thought police were trained not to shoot if it endangered civilians, if there were innocents behind the ‘target.’ Even at the risk of their own lives as their job is to PROTECT (when possible) and Serve, always.

    Had an armed civilian brought the ‘shooter’ down. Even if with one, well placed shot from a properly registered (in NYC) handgun he would have been roundly criticized for endangering the innocents on the street.

  34. Fruitbat44 Says:

    NYPD put down one bad guy and wound nine civilians in the process. I’ve never been in a gunfight and I’ve no idea how I would have fared, but nine civilians wounded? Not the desired outcome.

    It may well be that the civilian injuries were unavoidable, but the matter really does need to be investigated thoroughly. And FWIW as statements to the media go Commissioner Kelly’s “Flowerpots did it,” well it may be accurate, but . . .

    As to what the unarmed British Bobby might have done, well I don’t *know* but I *hope* they would have tackled the gunman to the best of their abilities.

    Much as this unarmed US security did: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/mother-of-security-guard-shot-in-dc-happy-to-hear-him-called-hero/2012/08/16/531ed060-e7a1-11e1-8487-64e4b2a79ba8_story.html

    Hmm . . . it’s been expressed, and quite rightly, that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” But isn’t it also true that “Guns don’t save people; people save people?”

    Btw, the NY Times article was completely inaccurate – tongue-in-cheek – it didn’t even mention that a .45 can tear the turret off a T-62 at a thousand yards.

  35. Tom Says:

    The NYPD is correctly held to a very high standard here, because they are an arm of the government that deliberately and unconstitutionally denied other NYC citizens the right of armed self-defense. If they didn’t want the responsibility, they should not have grabbed it all for themselves and denied others so much as the CHANCE to be safe. As far as I’m concerned, the City of NY and the NYPD richly, richly deserve every brickbat thrown their way in the wake of this incident. Like it or not, they assumed responsibility and so they must accept what they did.

  36. April Says:

    I know this is off topic but I just wanted to tell you a quick story.
    My younger sister (who is in her late twenties) is a single mom. She lives in a house in a neighborhood that is somewhere between “the really nice neighborhood” and the “don’t go there at night neighborhood in a historical part of a large Florida city. She was recently the victim of break-in and thankfully was not home at the time. They took some jewelry, and a dvd player along with a small amount of cash. She has been rightfully wary ever since. She is of course, angry, but also has taken a stance that it is time to arm herself should she ever face a situation where she and/or her son are in danger. I have e-mailed her links to no less than 9 of your blog articles about handguns. I have found all the knowledge she needed to prepare herself. You have provided information on women, law, licensing, and guns themselves to “arm” her with the facts she needed to make a wise purchase, and learn how to handle her weapon responsibly. Thank you so much for your blog and taking the time to share your expertise.
    Sincerely, April

  37. Mark Laderwarg Says:

    In defense of the officers, Mas schooled me once in the “doctrine of competing harms.” The question the officer has to ask himself in the 1/8 of a second he has to react is, does the danger this subject poses outweigh the danger I may create in trying to stop him?

    I think the officers reacted reasonably under the circumstances. If they had a “do over” they may have tried something different. Knowing everything I now know about the shooting, I MAY have reacted differently.

    Could have, would have, should have. It’s the cop in the shoes at the time that has to make the decision, not me, nor IA, nor feeble reporters, nor Internet geniuses.

  38. Tim from CO Says:

    @Fruitbat44- A bit off-topic but your post reminded me of a picture a friend sent to me.

    It was a Bobby with a knife and a bundle of balloons. Caption read “Halt or I shall simulate the sound of gunfire!”

    Much funnier if you see the picture…

Leave a Reply

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.